Americans Are Still in Debt From LAST Christmas

The  holidays are coming and with the season comes anxiety. The pressure to give the  perfect gifts, host the best parties, and create long lasting memories  can be overwhelming. The financial burden associated with the holidays  provides enough stress to make the average person want to skip the whole season! 

This year, Americans are planning to spend $660 on average for gifts. This data comes from a 2017 Consumer Holiday Shopping Report courtesy of NerdWallet. They analyzed the spending behavior of more than 2,000 Americans aged 18 and older. 

While survey responders said that they generally spend the same about each year, the debt is a major  problem. 24% of shoppers said that they overspent in 2016 and 27% said  that they don't even bother to make a budget. 

Creating a budget is only the beginning of getting a handle on your holiday spending. "There's  this myth that planning ahead and budgeting always ensures you don't overspend. But in reality, creating and even  sticking to a budget won't make you immune to holiday debt," Courtney  Jespersen, a consumer savings expert at NerdWallet, says in the survey. "It's so important to set a realistic ceiling for your spending." 

During the last holiday season baby boomers were more likely to take on debt  with 63% of survey takers admitted to spending more than they should  have. Younger shoppers took on debt as well with 58% of GenX'ers and 40% of millennials 

Many Americans are still trying to pay off the money they spent last year  while still trying to figure out how to make it work for this year. 

Here are some tips to keep your spending on track: 

Make a realistic budget and then stick to it! 

Keep an eye out for sales and try to price match wherever possible. 

Pay your debt back, don't just let it sit and roll over interest in your balance. 

Make a 'no gifts' pact with willing family and friends

Read more at CNBC

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